A lawsuit has been filed against the Woodland Park Zoo.
Alyne Fortgang, co-founder of the group Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, is seeking a court order declaring the Woodland Park Zoological Society be made subject to Washington state's public records act.
The group is trying to obtain information on the health and welfare of three elephants. They say Woodland Park Zoo has long claimed it is not subject to public disclosure requests.
"Through the Operating Agreement the City is required to give the zoo ongoing benefits," Fortgang said in a press release. "Not only are the Zoo's operations funded with $10.4 million taxpayer dollars, which increases each year, but the Zoo is provided with the use of City-owned buildings and park land at no cost. "
"Woodland Park Zoo can't have it both ways; if it chooses to take our generous tax dollars, then it must be held accountable on how it spends our money," said Fortgang. "I am simply asking that the Zoo be transparent with tax payers, which is why public records laws exist."
Woodland Park Zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic said the zoo has not yet been officially serves so did not feel it was appropriate to comment.
Fortgang and her supporters have been asking the Zoo to retire elephants Bamboo, Chai, and Watoto to a sanctuary in a warmer climate.